dr.ralph

Need advice finding a 250GB,80GB/platter,8MB cahce

Recommended Posts

I consider buying one of the new 250GB drives - 80 GB/platter, 8MB cache, SATA Fluid FDB - for my MP3 collection.

I've got more than 1200 CD's I want to backup to Mp3 to my PC.

1200CD's in 160 kbps quality would easily take up more than 100GB of space - and I would like to have the extra added space for further cd purchase.

Which harddrive would you recommend - I know western digital is releasing new FDB SATA 250GB drives soon, Maxtor has the Maxline II and Hitachi is on their way too.

What would you recommend ?

Maxtor Maxline II and WD both have 3 year warranty - and this is of some importance to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive recently had systems with WD 2500 JB and the Maxtor 300 GB hard drive... Both drives seem fast enough (even though the maxtor drive is a 5400 RPM drive, windows and linux booted from these drives acceptably fast, and file access was also acceptable) the WD 2500 JB drive is astounding for speed, and is quite a bit faster than the maxtor drive... Both of the these drives got amazingly hot... (noise wasnt an issue with either)...

Unfortunatly I didnt have the chance to run benchmarking programs on these systems, so I cant get give anyone hard numbers on performance... (not that my numbers would stack up agianst SR's review data base)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know which of the new Western Digital 80GB/platte 250 GB SATA harddrives I should go for if I want one with FDB motor ?

They call them names like JD, JB etc.

I only want SATA harddrives with FDB motor.

Is the WD caviar 250GB SATA drive WITH FDB motor on the market ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually when I come to think about it - stability and quality is more important to me than speed - so what would be the best SATA drive in the 250 GB categori for storing MP3 (and listening to MP3) and nothing else ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume if you're listening on the local PC you want the quietest/most reliable available. I don't think WD has their FDB drives available in large sizes yet (i've only heard of people owning the 40GB platter models)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Buck posted a listing not too long ago.

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...=0entry109772

It should clarify things. :)

Thanks for info - think I'll skip running my two 120Gb cuda V in raid 1 and start using them as normal single drives thus giving me 2X120 Gb free space.

I already backup all of my MP3 collection on DVD 4,7 GB disk's anyway (110 GB would take 25 DVD's to backup) - so why bother with raid 1 thus only using half my SATA disk space when I already backup to DVD's ?

Just felt that raid 1 gave me that bit of extra saftety - but think I'll skip it.

I'll wait for the WD caviar 250GB PD drives with FDB motor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have another question for you...................

When only using my two 120GB drives for Mp3 files - is it OK to use all of the 113 GB formatted space avalible or should I stick to the old rule of not using more than 85-90% of a harddrives volumen ?

Would accessing the MP3 files on the outer tracks, where it gets harder and harder for the heads to reach, influence on the listening pleasure of my Mp3 collection ?

If yes - should I then stick to the old advice of never using more than 85-90% of a given harddrives volumen ?

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When only using my two 120GB drives for Mp3 files - is it OK to use all of the 113 GB formatted space avalible or should I stick to the old rule of not using more than 85-90% of a harddrives volumen ?

Would accessing the MP3 files on the outer tracks, where it gets harder and harder for the heads to reach, influence on the listening pleasure of my Mp3 collection ?

The usual reason for not using up the entire drive's volume is you get slower performance as it fills up. The outer tracks are not "harder" for the heads to reach as compared to the inner tracks. Where the data is stored on the drive should have no bearing on the sound quality of your MP3's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When only using my two 120GB drives for Mp3 files - is it OK to use all of the 113 GB formatted space avalible or should I stick to the old rule of not using more than 85-90% of a harddrives volumen ?

Would accessing the MP3 files on the outer tracks, where it gets harder and harder for the heads to reach, influence on the listening pleasure of my Mp3 collection ?

The usual reason for not using up the entire drive's volume is you get slower performance as it fills up. The outer tracks are not "harder" for the heads to reach as compared to the inner tracks. Where the data is stored on the drive should have no bearing on the sound quality of your MP3's.

OK - thanks for the info :P

Thought that maybe the Mp3 files placed on the outer-outer tracks of the harddrive maybe would not play as smooth as the Mp3 files placed closer to the center on the harddrive.

But what do I know - I've never in my live used all the space on one harddrive B)

But I'm closing in on my notebook's hardrive - only got 12 % left on my 20 Gb IBM 40GN drive - and it's beginning to slow down quite a bit when reading from the drive.

But as long as this will only affect accessing larger files, and NOT accessing Mp3 files for listening pleasure (at least I wont notice it under normal Mp3 listening, correct ?), I intend to use every last kb of this 120GB drive (that is 113 GB formatted) ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thought that maybe the Mp3 files placed on the outer-outer tracks of the harddrive maybe would not play as smooth as the Mp3 files placed closer to the center on the harddrive

I believe if this effect is felt it would be the other way around. If you look at Sustained Transfer Rate graphs, they start high at the outer part of the disk and then get lower towards the center of the disk.

But I'm closing in on my notebook's hardrive - only got 12 % left on my 20 Gb IBM 40GN drive - and it's beginning to slow down quite a bit when reading from the drive.

The most likely reason for not using all of a disks capacity is the fragmentation issues.

Many defragmentation programs can't work without enough free space on the drive.

If you aren't familiar with fragmentation, it is basically that each file is stored on the disk in fragments rather than in one contiguous block. This means the hard drive has to seek again when moving from one part of the file to the other. This increases the time necessary to read the file.

But as long as this will only affect accessing larger files, and NOT accessing Mp3 files for listening pleasure (at least I wont notice it under normal Mp3 listening, correct ?), I intend to use every last kb of this 120GB drive (that is 113 GB formatted)  ;)

Fragmentation will be an issue if you are writing to this drive. Will it affect listening? I don't know, never tried it. But assuming an mp3 file was heavily fragmented, the hard drive time to read the file would increase. Would this be enough to cause the program playing the MP3 to have to wait and thus cause a pause or skip? Again I don't know, I have never tried it. The situation is different if you are only streaming one MP3 at a time from the drive or multiple people are streaming mp3's from it. Also if you are writing to it while reading, etc. Combine all these and you may have problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The most likely reason for not using all of a disks capacity is the fragmentation issues.

Many defragmentation programs can't work without enough free space on the drive.

If you aren't familiar with fragmentation, it is basically that each file is stored on the disk in fragments rather than in one contiguous block.  This means the hard drive has to seek again when moving from one part of the file to the other.  This increases the time necessary to read the file.

I know about fragmentation - but as I've never used more than 80-85% of my harddrives, I've never ran into trouble defragging a drive because of to little space for moving the files around.

But are you sure that Mp3 files actually get fragmentet at all ?

Is this possible - I would think that a Mp3 file can not be split up into parts - would think it's placed on the same spot on the drive - opposite normal files (especially system files) which can easily be split up all acorss the entire harddrive - but as I say I really don't know for sure - I just assume it is like that with Mp3 files - can anyone elaborate on this issue ?

I may opt for the Maxline II 250 GB SATA FDB drive as I don't know when the WD Caviar PD 250GB SATA FDB MOTOR drive will be availble in Denmark, where I live.

Speed is not that important for me when all the drive will be used for is storing/listening to my Mp3 collection.

Stability is much more important in this case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of this should be completely academic for MP3 files anyway. Given that you're talking about 160 kbps bitrates, while a modern hard disc will be managing 30 MBps even on the outside tracks, it would take a LOT of fragmentation to cause playback to skip. Seriously we're talking 0.03% of the maximum transfer speed is required to read an MP3. You'd be as well going with a big slow cheap drive. SATA and 8MB cache will both add their own premiums, and for a drive full of MP3s there will be absolutely no benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your drive would have to be REALLY fragmented to drop near 160kbps. And as long as you aren't deleting files, fragmentation should be minimal, since normally files would be added sequentially from the outside of the platters inward.

If you really needed to defrag the drive for some reason, you could copy a large chunk (10 GB?) off, defrag, and then copy them back on. And unless you are doing a lot of deleting, you won't need to defrag often, if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again to all you folks - I love all the great info coming from you all, here on this great forum :P

It's true - why should I go for a speedy 8MB cache drive when all I want is to fill up the drive with a lot of Mp3 files ?

A slow big drive would serve me just as well as a speedy one - and I could save a chunk of money buying a cheaper model.

But if I DO buy a BIG 250 GB drive - I would also consider moving my 25 (and slowly growing) GB collection of digi photos to this drive - and here I think the speed of the drive is of some importance :huh:

Or is it :o

I would only use my digi photo-collection on this drive for showing them to friends and relatives - like a slide show - would a big slow disk also manage this ?

But when I think about it, are there any 250GB BIG slow SATA disk's that are also cheap ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But if I DO buy a BIG 250 GB drive - I would also consider moving my 25 (and slowly growing) GB collection of digi photos to this drive - and here I think the speed of the drive is of some importance  :huh:

Or is it  :o

I would only use my digi photo-collection on this drive for showing them to friends and relatives - like a slide show - would a big slow disk also manage this ?

But when I think about it, are there any 250GB BIG slow SATA disk's that are also cheap ?

Digital photos will display just fine in a slideshow on a 5400rpm drive. I'm assuming the files are at the most 3-4MB each. Slow is a relative term, the 5400rpm drives are still plenty fast for the task you have in store for them. Unfortunately 250GB is still on the pricey side. Best bargains right now are the 200GB drives with MIR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SATA still has a premium price on it.

Yeahhhh.....that's a problem.

I simply can't get a 200GB plus disk in SATA that's cheap'ish......the only one is a 5400 rpm Maxtor Maxline and it's almost as expensive as the big brother Maxline 250 GB 7200 rpm - so might as well buy that one.

If only WD Caviar were selling their FDB 200/250 GB SATA disk's - then I would go for them. As it is, my only choice, if I want SATA+FDB+250GB, is the Maxtor Maxline plus or the Maxtor DM 9 plus.

I'll skip my two Seagate cuda V 120 Gb in RAID 1 and buy one 250 GB disk for Mp3 files - og then keap one of the Cuda V's - just for the fun of having more than 500 GB in my machine :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps look at putting a big drive in an external FireWire/USB2 enclosure? Easily portable, and plenty fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
og then keap one of the Cuda V's - just for the fun of having more than 500 GB in my machine :P

.......'guess I'm tired......:

".........and then keep one of the Cuda V's - just for the fun of having more than 500 GB in my machine :P"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
og then keap one of the Cuda V's - just for the fun of having more than 500 GB in my machine :P

.......'guess I'm tired......:

".........and then keep one of the Cuda V's - just for the fun of having more than 500 GB in my machine :P"

and = og in the danish language :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps look at putting a big drive in an external FireWire/USB2 enclosure? Easily portable, and plenty fast.

I have thought about this solution - but I have no knowledge about how hot this will get.

Harddrives need - as it is - active cooling inside a pc case - don't you think it will be VERY HOT inside a tiny external harddrive case with no ventilation ?

I actually also considered this as a backup solution instead of RAID 1.

Do you have any experince with this kind of stuff USB 2 as well as firewire connected drives ?

As you say it might be plenty fast and very portable.

I could connect the harddrive BOX to my laptop, which is hooked up to my stereo, and then have easy access to my entire cd collection without even touching a CD B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most external HD boxes will be adequately ventilated for a 7200 RPM drive. Don't forget, only the drives themselves will be heating up the enclosure - no CPU etc to provide additional warmth.

Firewire will be better than USB (less CPU usage) but search the forum for tips - you need to be a bit careful what firewire-IDE conversion chips the enclosure uses.

Sounds like an external box is a pretty good solution for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now